Budapest (MTI) – Hungary’s government has raised its forecast for 2015 GDP growth from 2.5 percent to 3.1 percent, economy ministry state secretary Peter Beno Banai told public news channel M1 on Thursday.
The state secretary told M1 that the government has sent its updated convergence programme to the European Commission, and that the positive economic outlook shown by the most recent indicators allowed the government to revise its forecast.
Banai said that the convergence programme contained the government’s projections up until 2018, and that it predicted that Hungary’s growth would be higher than the EU average.
The updated convergence programme, published on the website of the EC late on Thursday, shows Hungary’s GDP reaching 2.5 percent in 2016, 3.1 percent in 2017 and 2.9 percent in 2018.
Average annual consumer price inflation, harmonised for better comparison with other EU member states, is put at 0 percent this year, 1.6 percent in 2016, 2.5 percent in 2017 and 3.0 percent — the middle of the National Bank of Hungary’s tolerance band — in 2018, according to the updated programme.
Hungary’s unemployment rate is set to fall to 6.9 percent this year, 6.2 percent in 2016, 5.8 percent in 2017 and 5.5 percent in 2018.
The updated programme shows the budget deficit, as a percentage of GDP, reaching 2.4 percent this year, then narrowing to 2.0 percent in 2016, 1.7 percent in 2017 and 1.6 percent in 2018.
Hungary’s public debt as a percentage of GDP is projected to fall to 74.9 percent in 2015, 73.9 percent in 2016, 71.3 percent in 2017 and 68.9 percent in 2018.
A table of assumptions concerning the external economic environment in the report puts the HUF/EUR exchange rate at 304.7 for 2015 and 303.7 for 2016-2018.